The Issaquah School District has been evaluating a piece of City-owned property – located at Northeast Discovery Drive and Sixth Avenue Northwest – as a potential site for a new elementary school.
On June 13, the Issaquah School Board discussed the results of a geotechnical study
its consultants recently conducted on the site.
Geotechnical reviews are common for prospective builders to determine how suitable the site is for the proposed type and method of construction.
The District’s consultants determined that – given the size of the proposed school, as well as the property’s available building area and topographic constraints – there is not enough room to fully address potential landslide hazards through buffers and setbacks, particularly when seismic designs are considered. The consultants for the District stated these natural hazards might be able to be mitigated through more expensive construction measures, such as grading, foundation structures or retention walls. For those reasons, the District decided not to pursue the property for a school.
The City appreciates the school district’s due diligence in assessing the site for school construction and will continue to collaborate with the district on meeting our community’s needs for school facilities.
Meanwhile, the City is proceeding with an arborist’s report, which will inventory and assess the health of the site’s trees. In addition, the City’s geotechnical consultants will peer review the school district’s report. It is anticipated that these reports will be discussed with the City Council, and shared with the public, after they are completed in early July.
While this site was considered for a new school, the City didn’t specifically purchase it for that purpose. This parcel was acquired from King County as part of a package to bring several pieces of land into the City via annexation and ownership. This specific parcel could still have other public benefits, which will be evaluated in the future.